Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tracheal Foreign Body Prevention

Children under 5 years old are at the highest risk for an inhaled foreign body. Prevention of inhaled foreign bodies focuses on this age group.

Recommendations for choking prevention includes:

  • Mealtime habits:
    • Sit down while you eat.
    • Eat slowly and chew food completely before swallowing.
    • Cut up foods that are firm or round, which can get stuck in your child's airway
    • Avoid foods that cause choking.
  • Keep small objects away from your child that may cause choking during playtime:
    • Any toy that is shorter than 2 1/4 inches long or can fit through a 1 1/4 inch circle is too small for a child under five years old
    • Bean bag chairs often break or tear, exposing young children to small beans
    • Check under furniture and between cushions for small objects that could cause choking
    • Follow age recommendations on toy packages
    • Latex balloons
    • Teach older children to put away their toys, which often contain smaller parts
  • Be aware that homes of others may not be child-proof.
  • Parents and caretakers should learn CPR before it is needed.

Continue to Tracheal Foreign Body Complications

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